Fearing Naxal attacks, shops, commercial establishments and local branches of nationalised banks such as the State Bank of India and the Central Bank of India suddenly closed shop in the Latehar district headquarters on Thursday.
Hundreds of Naxals had held up a train for four hours here on Wednesday, shouting slogans against the police and vowing “revenge”.
The banks downed their shutters after a CPI(Maoist) activist was believed to have phoned a local bank, ordering it to observe the first day of the indefinite statewide shutdown call given by the outfit recently.
As the word spread like a wildfire, shops and business establishments too stopped work for the day, fearing attacks for disobeying the diktat.
A bank official said on condition of anonymity, “Fearing reprisals, all bank branches in the district are likely to be closed till the Naxals withdraw their call.”
The CPI(Maoist) called for the shutdown, demanding Rs 10 lakh compensation and a job to the kin of five ‘innocent villagers’ allegedly killed by the CRPF in a ‘fake encounter’ in Barhania near here on April 15.
All branches of nationalised banks too stopped functioning after the closures at the district headquarters.
The lone cinema hall in town also stopped screening a dubbed English film midway. Petrol pumps have been closed since Wednesday. A police team that rushed to the local branch of the SBI to persuade employees to reopen the branch, failed to instil confidence among the terror stricken staff.